This crucial phase of the discussions taking place from Monday, November 28 in Mauritius. The country is part of the Eastern and Southern Africa, a sub-group of former members of the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) with which the EU is negotiating.
According to the Mauritian negotiators, discussions are progressing satisfactorily. Some disagreements were ironed out later and we should be on time, or conclude negotiations by June 2012.
The trade part of the agreement has already been completed and the aspects concerning sanitary and phytosanitary standards as well. We know that phytosanitary standards are often used as non-tariff barriers to prevent trade.
On trade in services, there is still room for improvement especially regarding the movement of people.
For now, Mauritian negotiators are satisfied with the turn of the EPA. First, the agreement will be asymmetric.That is to say that Maurice will have more time to open its market to European countries, while the European Union will do it much faster. Mauritius until the year 2022 to open its market.
Second source of satisfaction: textiles. While so far the EU applied the rule of double transformation to qualify for duty free entry into the European market, with EPA a single transformation will suffice.
For example, the plants were previously held in Mauritius weave their own fabric, then cut into garment to qualify. With the EPA, companies can import their fabric from China or India, and just to make clothes for prepaid access the European market. This is good news can boost Mauritian exports and encourage foreign companies to settle in Mauritius.
" We are not losers with this agreement. In addition, it will be compatible with the standards of the World Trade Organization while until we needed a special waiver, which is always random , "said a member of the delegation of Mauritius.
In addition, the icing on the cake, Maurice was able to introduce a list of sensitive products that are not covered by this Agreement. This list covers basically everything that is produced locally for the domestic market, starting with sugar or beer and soap.